Raul Jimenez good enough to play for Manchester City – Bruno Lage

Wolves take on Pep Guardiola’s Premier League champions on Saturday.
Bruno Lage, left, joked he does not want to give Raul Jimenez ‘ideas’ about joining Manchester City (David Davies/Adam Davy/PA)

Bruno Lage, left, joked he does not want to give Raul Jimenez ‘ideas’ about joining Manchester City (David Davies/Adam Davy/PA)

By Phil Medlicott, PA

Wolves boss Bruno Lage says he could imagine Raul Jimenez playing for Manchester City and has described the Mexican as “one of the best players in the world”.

Jimenez joined Wolves initially on loan from Benfica in 2018 before making the move permanent a year later.

The 30-year-old has scored 51 goals to date for the midlands outfit, including three this season after returning to action at the start of the campaign following a career-threatening fractured skull suffered in November 2020.

Bruno Lage, left, gives instructions to Raul Jimenez on the sideline (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Bruno Lage, left, gives instructions to Raul Jimenez on the sideline (Anthony Devlin/PA)

At his press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Premier League leaders City, Lage – who was in charge at Benfica when they sold Jimenez to Wolves – was asked if he felt, in terms of all-round number nines, Jimenez could compete with the best in Europe or the world.

And he said: “Sometimes, ‘the best’ is the question of opportunity.

“Look, I don’t want to say that – after, Pep (Guardiola, the Manchester City manager) comes with his money and buys Raul!

“But imagine Raul playing for Man City – I can imagine that, because he knows that game, he knows how to play inside, he knows how to play in the box, he runs a lot when you are defending.

“I don’t want to give him ideas – I will go after him to sign 10 more years for Wolves!

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“For me, he can play in any team, and I’m very happy to have him – I was unhappy because we didn’t have the money, because we sold him from Benfica, but now I’m very happy to have him in the same team.

“One more thing is he is a good example for all the kids who want to be top players, not just as a player but also as a man.

“If you go back five years ago Raul scored goals in the Champions League, against Bayern Munich for Benfica.

“We are talking about one of the best players in the world and he is playing for us. It is a big reference for everyone who wants to become football players. I said before it is a good example that you can be a top player and also a top man – Raul is one of them.”

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